With a consensus emerging on universal background checks and the so-called "gun show loophole" — and not much expected from a sit-down with gun-rights advocates — a task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden will issue its recommendations on curbing gun violence next Tuesday. Biden told reporters about the task force's timeline before his scheduled meetings with the National Rifle Association and other groups who represent gun owners. Those meetings began at 1:45 and were closed to press.
The timing may have been a signal that while Biden doesn't intend to ignore those groups' input (which seems to be predicated on ignoring what Biden & Co. have to say), the Vice President remains committed to the commission's push for urgency in getting its proposals before Congress. Next week's announcement will follow, by one day, the one-month anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The pool report from Biden's announcement details what the task force is currently studying:
[Biden] mentioned several recommendations to deal with guns that he said he had heard repeatedly from stakeholders. This included what he called "universal background checks, not just closing the gun show loophole." He also mentioned a call do deal with high capacity magazines. And he said, "The last area is the whole subject of the ability of any federal agency to do research on gun violence."
Biden added that he was hoping to meet soon with gun manufacturers and, later, with Congress, which would need to get involved on the so-called loophole, despite the objections of conservatives who took issue with Biden's comments Wednesday that he would encourage President Obama to take "executive orders" on some proposals.
"There has got to be some common ground, to not solve every problem but diminish the probability [of shootings]," Biden said Thursday ahead of his next round of meetings. "That's what this is all about. There are no conclusions I have reached."